Michael Phelps And Ryan Lochte Face Off For The Last Time Tonight

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are locking horns again. This time, it's in the 2016 Rio Olympics. However, this kind of friendly showdown between the two Olympic swimming athletes is for a limited time only. This is what makes tonight's 200-meter individual medley a big-ticket Olympic event to watch.

Michael Phelps, who is only 31 years old, has decided to retire after these Olympics, while the 32-year-old Lochte is undecided about hanging his swimsuit. The swimming pool rivalry between the two has been going on for 13 years, according to the Associated Press. But it's not a bad thing. It's actually a good thing.

In fact, the Phelps-Lochte rivalry is the best example of a friendly yet fierce Olympic competition. Away from the swimming pool, the two multi-decorated American athletes are not only roommates in the Olympic village, but are also the best pals.

Michael Phelps is confident about his record. After all, he is undoubtedly the most bemedalled Olympic athlete in history with 25 medals, 21 of which are gold. On the other hand, Ryan Lochte has 12 Olympic medals (six gold, three silver, three bronze). He is the only Olympic swimmer who comes close enough to be Phelps' second.

"Lochte has owned the 200 IM world record for seven years, but Phelps usually comes out on top against him," says the source.

Phelps did this to Lochte in the 2012 London Olympics, so there's a big chance that he just might do it again. The following is Lochte's take on tonight's 200-meter individual medley.

"It's going to take a perfect performance in order to beat him just because of how tough a competitor he is. He won't give up and that's awesome. That's why he brings out the best in me and hopefully I do the exact same for him."
Here is how Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte stack up against each other in terms of vital statistics. Phelps is 6 ft 4 in (193 cm) tall and weighs 194 lb (88 kg). Comparatively, Lochte stands 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) and weighs 194 lb (88 kg). Therefore, Phelps is taller than Lochte by two inches although they weigh about the same.
So physically speaking, Michael Phelps has a little bit of superiority (i.e., two inches) because he is taller and lighter, which is why he is often referred to as a flying fish. On the other hand, Lochte has some handicap because he is relatively shorter and heavier on the water.

Following the laws of physics, Phelps is superior to Lochte. But as the 1997 Ethan Hawke science fiction thriller Gattaca shows, genetic or physical superiority does not always make the best man win. There is such a thing as how badly the relatively inferior opponent wants to win, says a Rotten Tomatoes review.

All these factors and more are what Lochte will have to consider as he faces his friend and foe Phelps for the last time in the 200-meter individual medley tonight. Michael Phelps' cup is full especially after having won his 20th and 21st Olympic gold medal in the current Olympics, according to Yahoo News.

Phelps is also a brand new father who dotes on his 3-month-old son, Boomer, with fiancee Nicole Johnson, according to ET. And while Michael Phelps is excited and new to having a full-fledged family, Lochte is yet to find the woman of his dreams. According to the Inquisitr, Ryan Lochte is actively dating women on the dating app Tinder.

Therefore, of the two opponents, Lochte will be the one hungrier for victory considering their respective circumstances. The athlete still has many more things to aspire for such as more Olympic medals, finding the girl of his dreams, and establishing his very own family. However, you never underestimate the drive of a new father who wants to show off to his son. To illustrate, Michael Phelps tells NBC the following.

"I wanted to be with him [Boomer] more. Being able to share that one moment that I had with him, was definitely something very special."
So what do you think, folks? Considering the laws of physics and Michael Phelps' hunger to win for his baby boy, do you honestly think that Ryan Lochte stands a chance at winning the gold in the 200-meter individual medley tonight? Are the odds still even or is it hopelessly lopsided in favor of one of the opponents? You be the judge.

[Photo by Clive Rose /Getty Images]